I just received the most wonderful email from a friend, “the wife of.” She alerted me to a video of her husband, posted yesterday on YouTube. Ross Monk has played the guitar, mandolin and ukulele since he was a young man. In his retirement he has returned to the ukulele with a passion. Every Wednesday evening from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., he joins the Corktown Ukulele Jam in the Corktown Lounge at the historic Dominion Hotel on Queen Street in the downtown Toronto east side. See their calendar of activities.
Here he is, last Wednesday evening, at their December theme night. The object was to present a song he had written himself. He prefaced his song with the announcement that last year he had sung about wanting to be a cowboy. That hadn’t turned out so well; now he had a new plan. Check this out. I laughed and laughed and laughed.
In his retirement, Ross Monk has also taken up another career, as a painter. He paints in water colours, oils and acrylics, primarily scenes of Haliburton and Mexico, where he spends much of his time. I am fortunate to have one of his paintings hanging in my living room. It is part of his series on rural barns “on the way to Haliburton.” He exhibits in several galleries, and each summer he teaches painting at the Sir Sanford Fleming School of the Arts in Haliburton. For the 75th Anniversary of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, his painting was one of fifteen chosen to be included in the permanent collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. Photos of the presentation of the paintings to Prince Charles, on behalf of the Queen, are in the Royal Collections section of the CSPWC website.
Splendid, Ross. So, what is your song going to be about next year?
P.S. to readers: To appreciate this post, you really must click on the hyperlink in the second paragraph and see Ross in action. Don’t be shy. If you need a refresher on how to use hyperlinks, check out my post on Having Fun with Hyperlinks on November 12th.